Causes of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) in adults is the most common allergic respiratory disease in adults in the community. Allergic rhinitis, as it is called among the people, is seen in the form of hay fever or allergic rhinitis, runny nose, itching, congestion and sneezing. How and for what reasons does allergic rhinitis occur? In this article we will try to answer these questions.

How Does Allergic Rhinitis (Allergic Flu) Develop?

In allergic rhinitis, as in other allergic patients, it occurs due to a genetic predisposition and an impaired immune response with the contribution of environmental factors. Allergy is an unwanted, harmful, excessive response of the body’s immune system to substances called allergens that enter our body from the external environment.

Allergens are foreign substances that cause allergic diseases. Allergens are harmless to most people. They cause diseases in atopic people who have allergic diseases in their family and who have a genetic tendency to develop allergies. In allergic diseases, there is a cause-effect relationship between exposure to the allergen and the occurrence of symptoms, which is often noticed by the patient. When the patient encounters the allergen to which he is sensitive, his complaints begin. For example, in those with hay fever and allergic conjunctivitis, complaints such as watering eyes, itching in the nose, discharge and sneezing occur when they encounter pollen in spring. The most important allergens we encounter throughout our lives are house dust mites, pollen, mold spores and animal hairs in the inhaled air.

What is the Most Important Cause of Allergic Rhinitis?

The most important causes of allergic rhinitis in adults are genetic. Adults whose parents or siblings or children have any allergic disease are more likely to develop allergic rhinitis at some point in their lives. For this reason, adults with a family history of allergic disease should be examined for the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis if they have symptoms such as runny nose, congestion, itching or sneezing.

Which Allergens Cause Allergic Rhinitis?

Although we encounter countless allergens throughout our lives, the main allergens that cause allergic rhinitis are house dust mites, pollen, molds, allergens of pets such as cats and dogs, and allergens of cockroaches. The frequent encounters with these allergens in our environment cause allergic rhinitis.

If I have asthma, can it be Allergic Rhinitis?

The association of allergic rhinitis in adults with asthma reaches up to 60%-80%. Therefore, adult patients with asthma have a prior history of allergic rhinitis. Patients followed up with the diagnosis of asthma should definitely be questioned whether they have allergic rhinitis.

How Does Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Affect Allergic Rhinitis?

Smoking causes many problems in our life. Exposure to cigarette smoke increases both the severity of the allergic disease and the sensitization to the allergen. Some scientific studies have shown that maternal smoking only increases the risk of developing allergen sensitivity in children with a family history of allergic disease. Especially if smokers were smoked at home in the first year after birth and the child was exposed to cigarette smoke, the probability of developing allergic rhinitis is high. Unfortunately, these children have a higher risk of developing rhinitis and asthma in the future.

There is a definite relationship between smoking and the development of allergic sensitization and future asthma. For these reasons, we should direct them to quit smoking with or without allergic asthma and ensure that they are protected from passive smoking.

As a result;

  • The most important cause of allergic rhinitis is a family history of allergic disease.
  • Causes of allergic rhinitis are exposure to allergens, exposure to cigarette smoke, asthma or eczema during the childhood years.